Surfshark’s network comprises 1,700 servers in 63 countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada.
Surfshark allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections and provides a whole bunch of cool features that we will cover in detail in this review.
Table of contents
|jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands|
|Conservation of data||No|
|Browser extension||Yes (Firefox & Chrome)|
|Encryption||AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) technology with 256 bit keys (AES-256).|
|Protocols||– OpenVPN with TCP/UDP|
Surfshark Speed and perfomances
We have tested a large number of servers around the world (see how we perform our tests).
Connection times to the servers were fast, from two to five seconds (which is very good).
There were no connection failures or excessive latency, and all servers tested returned IP addresses that matched the expected location.
As usual, we performed our speed tests using Fast.com, Open Speed Test and the Ookla Speed Test to verify performance.
The results revealed excellent performance, being located in France the European servers were the fastest and closely followed by those in North America.
Even better, servers on the other side of the world such as Australia or New Zealand did not see their speed drop with an average between 145 and 195 mbps!
Surfshark speeds compete with the best VPN providers, but need to be confirmed in the future. Indeed, since Surfshark is still brand new on the VPN market, their servers are not yet saturated due to too many connected users, which could explain why Surfshark’s performances are so good.
Surfshark unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
Surfshark highlights the unlocking of Netflix USA as one of its principal features.
During our tests 100% of the US servers tested allowed us to unlock Netflix USA from France.
BBC iPlayer can sometimes be a real challenge to unblock as well, but Surfshark got around the blockage without difficulty, allowing us to access it from its UK servers.
All the French channels mycanal, rmcsport, bein sport, tnt were also unblocked on all the French servers tested.
Surfshark is still new to the VPN market which may have prevented it from being detected by Netflix but this may change in the future as they gain popularity.
We will monitor this and keep you informed if it doesn’t work anymore.
Surfshark with Torrent
Almost all SurfShark servers allow downloading from Torrent.
To further ensure your anonymity, if you run a torrent client, Surfshark will automatically redirect you to a Dutch server before switching to another server.
Our tests have, as usual when talking about speed with surshark, shown excellent download rates.
The main features of Surfshark
By activating Kill Switch, Sufshark will monitor your connection to detect any change in status or IP address.
If it detects any changes (e.g. your VPN connection fails or disconnects), it will instantly shut down your device or prevent the specified apps from connecting to the Internet (torrent client for example) until the VPN connection is restored or you close the VPN app.
Surfshark’s privacy features start with an excellent security protocol (OpenVPN UDP and TCP, IKEv2) AES-256-GCM encryption and kill switch function to block Internet access and prevent identity leakage in case of connection failure.
But this is just the beginning. Surfshark has its own private DNS on each server to reduce the risk of others spying on your activities. It is also possible to use a double VPN (Multihop) to make tracking your online activities even more complicated.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, so there is no pressure to keep track of their users’ data.
- Incoming and outgoing IP addresses.
- Browsing, downloading or purchase history.
- The VPN servers you use.
- Bandwidth used.
- Session information.
- Connection times.
The only data the Company keeps about you is your email address and billing information. Concerning this last point Surfshark accepts payment by cryptography.
Another interesting point, Surfshark has agreed to pass an independent audit. It was carried out by the German security company Cure53 but unfortunately only concerned browser extensions. We would have preferred a much more thorough audit like the one performed on NordVPN.
Cure53 concluded that the audit was very satisfactory and did not detect any major problems.
Ease of use
The interface is very similar to any other VPN application, with a login button, server status information and a list of locations, all displayed in several columns, allowing you to access all functions very easily.
To connect, just press the connect button and the desktop notifications tell you when you’re connected and when you’re not. The interface updates to show your new virtual location and IP address.
A list of base locations allows you to choose from all available countries. To find a country quickly, just use the search field, but there is no information about server load or ping time to help you make the best choice. In addition, while the “Recently Used” list allows you to find recently used servers, there is no bookmark system to manage the most commonly used servers.
The MultiHop, whitelister and cleanweb functions appear in the side panel making them very easy to access.
The “settings” panel allows you to configure the different functions mentioned above but also to activate the kill switch, or the wifi protection which allows you to choose for example to connect automatically via a VPN server if you are on a public wifi network.
There are also more conventional features such as options to launch the VPN with Windows or change the protocol between OpenVPN UDP and TCP, or IKEv2.
The interface of Android or iOS applications is very similar to the Windows interface.
Touching the icons at the bottom of the screen gives you access to most of Surfshark’s features, including the ability to customize automatic network connection rules, URL filtering and the WhiteList feature.
Surfshark applications are simple and pleasant to use.
Surfshark compatible Devices
The number of compatible platforms ranks surfshark at the top of the vpn range.
Surfshark's technical support
The site offers installation guides for all its platforms as well as troubleshooting guides. Their FAQs are simple, but you are unlikely to need them.
However, if you do encounter problems, support is available 24/7 via live chat or email.
We asked a simple question about NoBorders, and an agent responded within 5 minutes.Complex connection issues are likely to take longer to resolve, but technical support seems to respond quickly.
Surfshark : Prices and Payment Methods
3 different choices all with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Payment methods are multiple and include Google Pay, AmazonPay and Cryptocurrencies.
Final verdict on Surfshark
It is surprising to see such a newer VPN provider offering such quality and performance.
Surfshark already competes with the best VPNs and only its lack of seniority prevents it from reaching the top 3. Indeed, we prefer to wait a little longer to see if all these excellent results are maintained with time and the growth of their customer base.
Will they make the effort to expand their infrastructure as the number of users increases?
Will they continue to improve their application and invest in research for new features?
Only time will answer these questions…
- Based outside the jurisdictions of the alliance of 5, 9 & 14 eyes
- Good performance
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad blocker.
- Number of servers less important than the VPN market leader
- Lack of seniority (created in 2018)